DNA sequencing company Oxford Nanopore have announced the release of the smallest DNA sequencing machine yet produced, to go on sale later this year.
The size of a large USB stick, the handheld MinION sequencer uses the company’s nanopore-based strand sequencing technique. Launching alongside a larger GridION device with the same technological base, the company say that the smaller, disposable version will increase accessibility because it is to sell at a price below US$900, as well as being easy to use and transport.
It is anticipated that this may appeal to less specialist researchers who nevertheless wish to include some element of genome sequence data in their projects, without large-scale investment in equipment, although they would still need to analyse the genome data. Selected laboratories are to receive the device for trial purposes ahead of the product launch.
Oxford Nanopore Chief Executive Dr Gordon Sanghera described the MinION as “an absolute game-changer”, adding: “It’s plug-and-play, on-the-go DNA sequencing”.